May 13, 2008

New York City Makes Cricket a Varsity Sport.: With an eye toward the growing ranks of local players, the New York City Department of Education established cricket this year as its newest varsity sport.

posted by BoKnows to other at 01:12 PM - 17 comments

First time I went to London, many years ago, I checked into the hotel in the morning, turned on the TV, and there was a Cricket match on. I took a nap, went out, returned to the hotel later, and the same teams were playing. Next morning I wake up, and its still the same teams going at it. Once I realized this was still the same game, and not a series, like in baseball, I sat down for about an hour to try to figure out what was going on. When the commentator yelled something about a wicket, and everyone seemed really excited, I just started laughing as I hadn't the foggiest idea what happened. I imagine this is what happens when a British or Indian person watches a baseball game. Or Fry watching Blurnsball. Good for NYC to make cricket a varsity sport, it does look like fun, and I imagine the US Cricket team is awful, so maybe this will be a first step towards allowing us to successfully compete internationally.

posted by Chargdres at 01:41 PM on May 13

I imagine it's the one day game they're playing and not Test cricket? Trying to introduce a sport that takes five days and ends up in a tie would blow a few too many circuits, I'd imagine.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 02:37 PM on May 13

From time to time, I consider looking into checking out my local cricket team. I don't quite understand cricket, but I've always been fascinated by it. Good on New York!

posted by Joey Michaels at 02:53 PM on May 13

I imagine the US Cricket team is awful I don't think they are, Chargdres. They haven't made a World Cup yet, but I don't think it will be long before they do. I also understand there's an American millionnaire of West Indian heritage who is trying to establish a TwentyTwenty competition based in the Caribbean and with some matches to be played in the USA. Can't find a link to that story, sorry.

posted by owlhouse at 04:41 PM on May 13

I believe the guy's name is Stanford. This year's matches were shown in Fort Collins this past February. I remember going to the bars and I think I was the only one who knew what was going on, but people seemed pretty interested.

posted by edub1321 at 08:49 PM on May 13

@Chargdres: the US national cricket team isn't that bad, what with the influx of Caribbean and Indian immigrants. The first international cricket match was between the USA and Canada in the 1840s, but the growth of baseball pretty much killed the development of North American cricket, although cricket held on in many American cities during the 19th century, and in Philadelphia it lasted a bit longer until the 1920s after which cricket was pretty much dead in the USA. IIRC, the US cricket team has come close to qualifying for the World Cup in recent years, so that's not too bad. We are probably many many decades from becoming a test playing nation, though, which won't happen at all without a much bigger growth in people playing the sport. The real problem right now, apparently, is that the governing body, USACA, is a bit of a mess, with lots of political, monetary, and organizational problems, or so I have read. Making cricket a varsity sport is a huge step, though. Gives it a chance to expand beyond its current ethnic enclaves. @Mr Bismarck: we need to blow more circuits, frankly. American sports fans could do with a few mind expanding exercises. And the length of test matches isn't really that long if you think of it like a World Series, or like a major golf tournament. Five days is not that long if you think of it in those terms. American soccer fans don't have a problem with tie games, and fans of other sports used to accept tie games, too; frankly it is nice to be a fan of a sport which does not pander to lowest common denominator ideas about "entertainment value" by forcing tie breakers where they are needed. BTW, they have built a cricket stadium in Lauderhill, Florida, recently, which is intended to hold international matches.

posted by dave2007 at 04:28 AM on May 14

By forcing tie breakers where they are NOT needed, that is. Youtube video of Lauderhill cricket stadium:

posted by dave2007 at 04:36 AM on May 14

Ahem. I'll put on my pedant's hat. In cricket, there is actually a distinction between a tie and a draw. A drawn match (essentially only happens in Tests) is one where the time is up without a result. Yes, that's right, sometimes five days of play and they haven't got everyone out. A tie, on the other hand, is a match where both teams are all out for the same total number of runs - in two innings for Tests, and the same score in limited over matches. Tied matches are probably the most exciting events in all cricket. However ties are quite rare - occuring in only two Tests in over a hundred and thirty one years. Australia versus West Indies, Brisbane 1960-61, and India versus Australia, Madras (Chennai) 1986. And no, I didn't need to look them up.

posted by owlhouse at 05:52 AM on May 14

I imagine it's the one day game they're playing and not Test cricket? However, I just looked up the USA's record in full international cricket. It stands at 2 ODI matches, both in the Champions Trophy in England in 2004 (resulting in losses to Australia and New Zealand respectively).

posted by owlhouse at 07:56 AM on May 14

Australia versus West Indies, Brisbane 1960-61 Wow, did that match take 2 years?

posted by bender at 08:44 AM on May 14

I was thinking about mentioning the distinction in cricket between a tie and a draw, but decided that would be too much information. My fellow Americans probably think I'm weird enough for knowing this stuff as is.

posted by dave2007 at 08:52 AM on May 14

@owlhouse: The USA has to have played some kind of qualification matches besides those, though, for the ICC World Cup? Also, is it not also possible to have drawn matches in four day county matches? I was wondering why the level below international test matches was four days instead of five... And then there's the little matter of "declaring" if I am remembering the right term, to avoid a draw?

posted by dave2007 at 08:56 AM on May 14

Canada vs. USA:

posted by dave2007 at 09:16 AM on May 14

Also I answered my own question about USA World Cup qualifying: "More than a year since they were suspended from international cricket, the USA have named their side for their comeback in the ICC World Cricket League Division Five which takes place in Jersey next month. The side will be captained by Steve Messiah, who led them during their last outing in August 2006. The USA were, at that time, in the World Cricket League Division One, and were it not for the suspension imposed by the ICC they would almost certainly have been in the mix at the ICC World Cup Qualifiers next year. As it stands, they will need to win promotion from Division Five and Four and then win the Division Three event next January to be invited to the qualifying tournament for the 2011 World Cup. The event in Jersey will also feature Afghanistan, Bahamas, Botswana, Germany, Japan, Jersey, Mozambique, Nepal, Norway, Singapore and Vanuatu. The top two sides will be promoted to Division Four which will be held in September."

posted by dave2007 at 09:22 AM on May 14

@bender: it was in Australia, where the seasons are reversed, so they must have played through the New Years holiday, 1960-61.

posted by dave2007 at 09:24 AM on May 14

It was a 5 day test from December 9-14, 1960 - the 11th was a rest day. In Australia, the cricket season starts in October and runs through to March, hence the '1960-61' season, and the Test series against the West Indies. Also, is it not also possible to have drawn matches in four day county matches? I was wondering why the level below international test matches was four days instead of five... Yeah, that's right - any two inning match can be drawn if the time expires - some 'first class' matches (the level below Test cricket) are scheduled for 3, 4 or 5 days, depending on the rules of the competition. All Test playing nations are supposed to have a domestic first class competition - county cricket in England, Sheffield Shield in Australia etc. And then there's the little matter of "declaring" if I am remembering the right term, to avoid a draw? The captain of the batting team can 'declare' an innings closed at any time - before all 10 wickets have fallen, in other words. This is usually done to try and force a result, not to get a draw. For example, your team has a lead in runs, time is against you and you still need to bowl the other team out. Of course, if you declare too early, it can give the other team an opportunity to get the runs required. Once a declaration is made, you can't go back and bat again!

posted by owlhouse at 05:12 PM on May 14

England are playing New Zealand at the moment and even if I knew nothing about cricket, I'd still listen to Test Match Special, because it's genuinely good fun. Especially when the comentators wander off into some stream of consciousness nonsense. I should include, (/repost), this link though, which contains just about all the cricket jargon information you could wish for.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:58 AM on May 15

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